Kids these days are nothing like youngsters from days gone by. They participate in numerous activities and sports. They play video games all the time. They dress and act like grownups a shockingly young age. And some of them drive cars — with predictable results. Here are six stories of very young drivers and the mayhem they wreak (luckily, nobody was seriously hurt in these incidents):
1. Location: Dorchester, Massachusetts Age of child: 8
What happened: On May 9, 2012, the boy got into the driver’s seat of a $50,000 BMW. It’s not clear whether he started the ignition or simply put the vehicle into neutral or reverse; but the car began backing down the sloped driveway. It traveled across the street, rolled between a couple of parked cars, plowed through a hedge, and smashed into the porch of a home. Total damage? $20,000 to the car, $80,000 to the home, and undoubtedly a higher auto insurance premium.
2. Location: Ogden, Utah Age of child: 8
What happened: Young kids evidently get the late-night munchies too. This past March, an 8-year old boy and his 5-year old sister stole the keys to their mother’s minivan at 2am. The boy tried to back the vehicle out of the apartment complex, but lost control and drove into a patch of trees just feet from the Ogden River. After police pulled them out, the kids said that they had just wanted to go to the store.
3. Location: Plain City, Utah Age of child: 7
What happened: What is it about Utah that makes kids want to go driving? This 7-year old had a good reason for taking off in July of 2009: he didn’t want to go to church. The police actually had to chase him down at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. The best part of this police dashcam video is when the kid tries to escape on foot.
4. Location: Toccoa, Georgia Age of child: 3
What happened: No, that age is not a misprint. A mother was picking up her children from day care in March of 2011 when the toddler jumped behind the wheel of the minivan and “pretended” to drive. Imagination became reality when she managed to shift the vehicle into neutral; before her mom could react, the minivan rolled across a parking lot and through the front of a small building housing a security service.
5. Location: Jamestown, New York Age of child: 5
What happened: What happens when you combine a restless 5-year old, an improperly-supervising grandmother, and a sunny spring day? This video from May of 2008 revealed the results. The boy didn’t need a key to start the truck because the ignition was broken. He managed to hit a parked car — twice — before gunning the gas and sending the truck down a 12-foot embankment. Yes, it was totaled.
6. Location: Lake Park, Florida Age of child: 7
What happened: This is our grand prize winner. In April of 2008, a 7-year old was mad at his mother, so what did he do? He stole his grandmother’s Dodge Durango. (Of course!) With his 7-year old buddy riding shotgun, the child drove the SUV several miles on busy streets. The final damage tally? Two mailboxes, two parked cars, two moving cars, a real estate sign, and a curb — not to mention a broken axle on the SUV. But the most priceless part of the video is the kid’s nonchalant — and even defiant — reaction to the whole ordeal.